What does DRL mean in Car Dashboard?

DRL stands for ‘daytime running lights.’ It is a safety measure that makes your car more visible in traffic. They are particularly important in low-light settings, such as driving through a tunnel, beneath bridges, or at dark places.

Avoiding collisions is the primary purpose of your daytime running lights. You don’t need to use the DRLs in order to see where you’re going. They’re there just to make you more visible to other drivers.

If they’re working properly, they’ll light on when you turn the key in your ignition. When you turn on your headlights, you’ll notice that the light coming from your daytime running lights dims. When your headlights are turned off, they shine brighter.

Usage around the World

In Scandinavia, daytime running lights were first made mandatory. Daytime running lights were a logical choice for the Scandinavian nations since the skies were mostly black during the winter.

Source: Deloreanman14 / wikicommons

They initially showed up in the United States on imported cars. It wasn’t long before they found their way into American automobiles, and they’ve been there for a while now.

In Canada, they were first mandatory in 1989, and now they are standard on most cars. They were authorized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 1993.

However, there has been no significant decline in the number of accidents in the United States after DRL implementation. DRLs for bikes, on the other hand, have been shown to have a beneficial impact on motorcycle traffic safety ratings.

High-power running lights have raised safety issues. Thousands of people contacted the Department of Transportation in the United States to express their dissatisfaction with the glare on their vehicles.

According to motorcycle safety experts, installing daytime running lights (DRLs) on vehicles and trucks diminishes the effectiveness of motorcycle running lights. The most common criticism regarding DRLs is the glare that other car drivers encounter.

How Do Daytime Running Lights Work?

Your daytime running lights are essentially your low beam headlights that turn on at night. When you turn them on, your car becomes more visible.

A computer module and an ambient light sensor are used to activate most of them. When you turn the key in the ignition, they may switch on by themselves.

Their power consumption is often lower than that of your headlights. They are sometimes installed as a strip of LED lights near or above your headlights. They might also be your low beams, fog lights, or other low-powered lights.

On/off and dimming with the use of your headlights are both automated functions of these lights. If you’re driving through a work zone or a tunnel, several states mandate you to turn on your headlights. Some individuals claim that they may shorten the life of your normal headlights, but most people believe that the additional safety is worth the risk.

DRL Indicator

You should study your owner’s handbook, just as you would for any other feature on your vehicle, to ensure you fully understand the functions of numerous warning and indication lighting. In most cases, the DRL indicator light tells you if your car’s daytime running lights are on and performing within their normal specifications.

When you start your engine, it will usually come on and then switch off after a few seconds or when you remove your foot off the brake. There may be a problem with your running lights if your DRL indicator stays on for a prolonged amount of time.

If the DRL warning light comes on while you’re driving, it’s likely that the computer has recognized a problem. A faulty bulb or a problem with the DRL circuit fuses or relays might be the cause of this.

It is important to remember that on some vehicles, the DRL light will remain on when the running lights are on. Again, consult your vehicle’s owner’s handbook for further information.

Common DRL Problems

There are frequent problems that occur when the running light system is malfunctioning. Here is some of them:

  • DRL indication bulb is showing that the system is working properly, but the lights themselves may not be.
  • Another issue is that when you switch off the engine, your daytime running lights do not go out.
  • Running lights and headlights can share a bulb in some cars, so if your running lights go out, one or more of your headlights will fail.

Common DRL Fixes

One of the possibilities is that the DRL warning lamp module is defective. It’s possible that all you have to do is swap out a light bulb or a fuse.

Alternatively, the issue may be more sophisticated and require the attention of a trained mechanic. Perhaps an auto parts store might be able to offer a few ideas?

To get a clearer understanding of what’s wrong, they may be able to connect your vehicle to a diagnostics computer. Many times, the problem is a straightforward one that may be resolved in a matter of minutes.


Having your car’s daytime running lights helps keep you and other drivers safer by increasing your vehicle’s visibility throughout the day. Make sure your lights are clean and clear of dust or leaves by doing regular maintenance and cleaning.

In the event of a power outage, keep a supply of extra light bulbs on hand and learn how to swap them out quickly. Consult your owner’s handbook before doing anything else. Safety and an attractive vehicle profile go hand in hand with maintaining the highest level of quality in your daytime running lights.

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